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Messages 21 - 40 of total 66 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Dec 10, 2014 - 09:29pm PT
OK, so Mosnik and Prezelj did much of Infinite Patience in August 2002,
then traversing 2 pitches to Emperor Ridge and bypassing the final 9 pitches on the face (plus the steep pitches on the ridge).
While Blanchard, Josephson and House had done the same thing earlier.
Then Blanchard, Pellet and Dumerac finished the full Infinite Patience in October 2002.

[Edit to add:] The "final 9 pitches" is a guess based on their climb description. They said they did a chimney to the base of the final couloir. If this couloir was Blanchard's "final ice strip", there were 3 4th class pitches to go up this ice strip, one M4/M5 pitch in an ice chimney, and then 5 rock pitches to the ridge. However, the Mosnik and Prezelj description mentions an ice chimney at their high point. If this was the M4/M5 "Love Chimney" in Dumerac's Alpinist description, then 5 pitches remained to the ridge.
The chimney could be pitch 20 or 27 in the gravsports link.
nah000

climber
no/w/here
Dec 10, 2014 - 10:08pm PT
^^^^

that about sums it up... although i'm not sure where you are getting an additional nine bypassed pitches on the face from?

based on both a gravsports description and an alpinist article it seems that there are only a couple more pitches to the ridge proper from the slovenians [and blanchard et als previous] highpoint. but maybe you have a better source?

but for sure there is lots more climbing [and traversing!] above to reach the summit...

still i find it interesting how the slovenian ascent basically gets written off, when imesho it should be acknowledged, if for nothing else, for the speed with which they climbed. and it was on sight as they weren't aware of blanchard et als attempts...
nah000

climber
no/w/here
Dec 10, 2014 - 10:23pm PT
slovenians were in aug 2002, just a couple months before blanchard, pellet and dumerac's succesful oct 2002 ascent...

so prob in the 2003 caj.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Dec 11, 2014 - 11:18am PT
Yet another fantastic thread Avery!

For a little more early history just around the corner on the Wishbone Arete check out this thread.

http://www.supertopo.com/climbers-forum/1350049/The-Wishbone-At-Last-Mt-Robson-Don-Claunch-CAJ-1956
Avery

climber
NZ
Dec 11, 2014 - 02:00pm PT
Interesting stuff, Steve, particularly for a Kiwi outsider. Love the early pics.
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Dec 11, 2014 - 05:58pm PT
Awesome thread. Avery you are on a roll. That is one kick ass looking mountain. Made it to Jasper once and have always regretted not going up to take a look.
nah000

climber
no/w/here
Dec 11, 2014 - 07:52pm PT
^^^^

haha.



oh i could tell you tales about that guy

no time like the present to take a small stroll on a tangential trajectory!
Flip Flop

Trad climber
Truckee, CA
Dec 12, 2014 - 09:53am PT
I'm nominating Avery for something good. Sick post.
nah000

climber
no/w/here
Dec 12, 2014 - 03:44pm PT
^^^^

considering what you wrote above, i'm not sure that telling stories about a guy who has made movies that don't shy away from the ridiculousness of some of his exploits, can hurt much more...

that said, fair enough.

speaking, as someone who has their own reasons for staying relatively anon here, online forum gossiping that a person wouldn't do to the gossipee's face is usually pretty lame anyway...

so apologies for egging you on... haha.
nah000

climber
no/w/here
Dec 12, 2014 - 03:51pm PT
here's a shot of house, blanchard and joshephson during their emperor face attempt of april 1996 to hopefully help things get back on track...

house, blanchard and josephson posing in aid of house's modeling of hi...
house, blanchard and josephson posing in aid of house's modeling of his new line of home made, bicolored alpine "powerstretch" [aka lycra] tights...
Credit: http://www.thecleanestline.com/2007/05/reliving_a_new_.html
Avery

climber
NZ
Dec 12, 2014 - 04:30pm PT
Thanks nah000, nice pic.
Avery

climber
NZ
Dec 12, 2014 - 10:01pm PT
Mt Robson, Emperor Face: Jason Kruk and Jon Walsh (FA)

On Friday June 18, after deejaying the Test of Metal block party in Squamish, I hopped in my truck and drove ten hours through the night to meet JR in the Robson parking lot. Earlier in the year I’d pulled a tendon pulley in my middle finger, and so ice tools were the first things I could reasonably grab. And so if alpine climbing was the only thing in condition for me, there was one guy I knew I needed to contact: Jon Walsh, a.k.a. Jonny Red (JR). He is my total hero. He has climbed the kinds of routes around the globe that people dream of climbing, and usually in an uncompromising, bold style—single push, fast, and free. His response was immediate and positive. At the top of his hit list was a face I had dreamt about since I was a kid: the storied Emperor Face of Mt. Robson. We didn’t have to talk tactics for very long to realize we were on the same page. If we climbed fast with small packs, we would only need a couple of good days of weather. JR was adamant Rockies could be climbed in a weekend. “I’ve realized I can climb continuously for 48 hours before I need to sleep,” he said. We hiked in quickly and established a camp below the face. It was the third time that spring we’d done the long hike (25km one way) in hopes of climbing the face, and the summer solstice seemed a ridiculous time to try to climb a “winter” route. But with a plump snow pack and a mild spring, conditions looked good. Early morning on June 20, we started climbing, and, despite the continuous, cerebral (read: scary) terrain, it was a pure pleasure to climb such entertaining and sustained mixed ground for so long. We climbed quickly, swinging leads the entire way up the face, the climbing never any easier than M5 or M6 and, often, stretching pitches up to 100m with simul-climbing. With a straight face I can call the hardest pitch I led M7. We hit the top of the face at midnight as lightning struck to the north, clouds enveloped around us, and light snow started to fall. At the time the decision to go down the Emperor Ridge, and not continue to the summit, seemed pretty easy. Now I can’t help but wonder “what if?” It always seemed a little silly to argue over the very definitions we climbers make up ourselves. Summit or not, it definitely felt like a new route. In correspondence with a long time Rockies climber, another hero of mine, his point was clear: “We're not arguing black or white here, rather, different shades of ugly.”

Jason Kruk, Canada

Credit: Jon Walsh
Credit: Jason Kruk
Credit: Jon Walsh

Thanks to Jason Kruk
Avery

climber
NZ
Dec 13, 2014 - 01:39pm PT

Looking down the Emperor Face.

Credit: Colin Haley

Thanks to Colin Haley
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Dec 14, 2014 - 06:19pm PT
from the 1985 Seventh Edition of The Rocky Mountains of Canada North by Robert Kruszyna and William L. Putnam.


MOUNT ROBSON (3954m)

The Monarch of the Canadian Rockies, aptly known to the Indians as "The Mountain of the Spiral Road" (Yuh-hai-haskun) on account of its distinctive horizontal banding. Mount Robson has captured the imagination of generations of climbers. By reason of its position, its challenge and its history, it is not only one of the great peaks of North America, but one of the great peaks of the world.

FA July 1913, W. W. Foster, A. H. MacCarthy, C. Kain. Kain (NE) Face/SE Ridge. One of the classic routes of North America and a fitting memorial to the Austrian guide, Conrad Kain. The initial slopes are subject to avalanche. Follow the Robson Glacier from Robson Pass, passing the Extinguisher to gain the part of the glacier where it steepens toward the col (2920m) at its head. From here make a rising traverse right (W) (some icefall danger) to pass over the snow slopes above the Dome (incorrectly marked on 83E3). Most parties make a high camp here; one day from Robson Pass. Access to the SE ridge proper is by the predominantly icy NE slope (Kain Face) that rises above and to the right of the Dome. Climb up between the ice bulges on the right and the exposed rock on the left, working left to avoid danger from the ice bulges (conditions often make this section treacherous to descend late in the dry). Once on the ridge, it is worth studying the route up the final ice slope ("The Roof”), as the ice formations vary from year to year. The line taken is usually straight up the SE ridge. A final difficulty is posed by the summit "mushroom." 7-10 h from Dome, 5-7 h on descent; IV, F5 (CAJ 6-11, 19).

Variant.
Parties have passed right (NW) underneath the ice bulges to gain the SE ridge near the shoulder (CAJ 48-109).

Winter Ascent.
March 1965, A. Bertulis, F. Beckey, L. Patterson, T. Stewart.

Credit: Ed Cooper

2. SSW Ridge (normal route).
The rock ridge on which the Robson Hut sits bounds the lower of the two icefalls which descend S from the summit area. July 1924, M. D. Geddes, T. B. Moffat, M. Pollard, C. Kain. From the hut make for the top of the rock ridge ("Little-Robson") where the final section of the route may be studied. Ascend the connecting ridge from Little Robson to the area under the ice cliffs of the upper icefall (danger from falling ice). From here work left above the right branch of the "Great Couloir" and up on the “Schwarz Ledges" to outflank the ice cliffs on the left (W). Once above the ice cliffs, one must negotiate the seracs of the "Roof," the best line varying from year to year. On occasion, it is best to traverse right (E) completely across the Roof to finish by the Kain Route. III, 5-9 h, hut to summit, 4h down (CAJ 19-6, 45-11).

Variant A
The cliffs of the upper icefield were first climbed on the right (E) by the "Hourglass," where the ice cliffs butt against the rock walls which funnel the upper icefall on the right (E). From the hut gain the lower glacier and cross in a rising traverse to right (avalanche danger) under the upper icefall in order to reach the Hourglass, a snow/ice chute to the left of the rock wall. Climb the Hourglass and join the Kain Route at the Shoulder. This variant may be preferred if the Schwarz Ledges are snow covered. It was by this route that the 1913 FA party descended (CAJ 37-72).

Variant B.
August 1936, H. S. Hall, Jr., H. Fuhrer. The rock walls to the right (E) have also been climbed. Take Variant A and pass the Hourglass in favor of the rocks. This variant is suitable only when the rocks are free of snow, but in those conditions it is probably the safest way to go (AAJ 2-418; CAJ 24-123).

3. Wishbone Arete.
This W ridge is well seen from the Robson viewpoint on the Yellowhead Highway, the two branches joining some 500m below the summit. The right-hand branch, which gives the climbing route, lies to the left of the "Great Couloir" descending from the summit. August 1958, D. Claunch, H. Firestone, M. Sherrick. Continue on the Berg Lake Trail past the turnoff to the normal route, then strike directly up the rocky buttress that forms the lower continuation of the ridge. Alternatively, traverse (W) from the Robson Hut at the 2400m level on the "Yellow Bands." The lower section of the ridge is straightforward and parties usually bivouac near 2700m on the first day, after hiking up from Kinney Lake. In dry years there is seldom water on the arete or the direct approach to it. The principal rock climbing difficulties occur below the prominent notch, just before the junction of the Wishbone, while after the junction the angle eases. Should this upper section be icy, it constitutes the crux, otherwise rock scrambling. Underneath the summit the distinctive ice gargoyles are encountered; the ice cap is generally gained by a leftward diagonal traverse. 1- 1 1/2 days from high bivouac to top, with descent to Robson Hut; V, F6 (AAJ 10- 1, CAJ 39-92).

This notable climb was the scene of several attempts, the boldest that in 1913 by B. S. Darling, H. H. Prouty, W. Schauffelberger, who turned back in storm some 100m from the summit (CAJ 6-29).

4. Emperor Ridge.
This magnificent NW ridge rises above Emperor Falls on Robson River and was attempted many times before being climbed. The strongest early attempt was that in 1930 by L.O'Brien and R. L. M. Underhill, who turned back some 150m short of the summit (CAJ 19-73). The hard part of the ridge begins near 3700m where the pyramidal lower section (which has a right-leaning couloir roughly at its center) converges on the lower-angled summital ridge.

July 1961, R. Perla, T. M. Spencer. Robson River must be crossed, most easily in the flats just below Berg Lake, and then a choice of routes presents itself: up either the left (N) bounding the ridge of the pyramidal face (as in the FA), the face itself, or the right (W) bounding ridge (as in 1930, probably the easiest). In any case, a bivouac should be placed as high as possible (above 3000m) on the day of approach in order to have time for the difficulties to come. Once one reaches the point of convergence, the climbing involves going over, around and through the ice gargoyles of the long final ridge. The usual technique is to thread the rope between the formations to effect a running belay. Oddly, this upper section may be more reasonable under cloudy or even stormy conditions than on a warm, sunny day. V; a very long day from bivouac to Robson Hut (FA party bivouacked on summit) (CAJ 45-106).

5. N Face.
With its purity of line and directness of purpose, this elegant face may fairly claim to offer one of the finest ice routes in the Canadian Rockies. August 1963, P. Callis, D. Davis. The initial problem is to reach the Robson-Helmet col (3250m), in former times gained over the Dome from Robson Glacier. Nowadays there are two popular alternatives. 1) From NE end of Berg Lake work up scree slopes on the W side of Rearguard to gain the easy-angled N tongue of Berg Glacier between Rearguard and Waffl at about 2100m (this point can also be reached via Rearguard-Waffl col from Robson Glacier). Then pass under the N faces of Waffl and Helmet along the bench of Berg Glacier and gain the col. 2) Leave Berg Lake Trail at SE end of Lake, ford river, and round lake to S shore. Then go up scree slopes to meet the rocky buttress which lies to the right (W) of Berg Glacier and descends toward the lake. Climb the rock to the high glacier plateau and so to the col. It is advisable to camp on the W side of the col because of the usual wind at the col. The route goes up the ice slopes above, the line taken varying according to the conditions, and needs no further elaboration. In the early season, loose snow (avalanche danger) may overlay the ice; in late season blue ice is common. Approximately 800m of ice climbing at an average angle of 52º. IV, one long day,with usual descent down Kain route to camp at col (AAJ 14-64).

6. Fuhrer Ridge.
The ridge rises above Helmet Col and gives a classic route relatively free of objective danger. Recommended. July 1938, J. W. Carlson, W. R. Hainsworrh , H. Fuhrer. Reach the Robson-Helmer col as for N face and place a high camp. The initial 1/3 of the route is up snow/ice while in the upper section ice and snow covered rocks are encountered. The upper route lies in depressions between rock ribs and finally emerges into steep snow/ice on the N face just below the summit ridge. IV, F5; 20 h from Helmet col, 8 h in descent (some rappels) (CAJ 26-8; AAJ 3-287).

Variant.
July 1970, M. Bleuer party. Should the upper rocks be ice covered, a long right traverse can be made along a snow "bench" 1/3 of the way up and then the extreme left side of the N face ascended, thus joining the original route just below the summit ridge.
Credit: Ed Cooper
Avery

climber
NZ
Dec 14, 2014 - 06:56pm PT
Thanks a lot, Ed.
Avery

climber
NZ
Dec 15, 2014 - 03:59pm PT
The following pics are from a failed attempt on the Emperor Face by Doug Shepherd and Jess Roskelly

Credit: Doug Shepherd
Credit: Doug Shepherd
Credit: Jess Roskelly
Credit: Doug Shepherd
Credit: Doug Shepherd

Special thanks to Doug Shepherd
nah000

climber
no/w/here
Dec 15, 2014 - 09:31pm PT
ok. so, regarding the following three ascents of the emperor face, riddle me this:

logan + stump's 1978 ascent: summitless
kruk + walsh's 2010 ascent: summitless
mosnik + j. prezelj's 2002 ascent: summitless

vs.

l+s: one of the most respected first ascents in the history of canadian rockies alpinism.
k+w: while reported as not summiting, they received basically the same press coverage that a summiting new route would.
m+p: effectively ignored and forgotten, even though they followed what was to their knowledge a new route up the emperor face to the emperor ridge in a [for the time] blazingly fast 13 hrs.

what say you? petty regionalism? changing times? alpha dog tyrranny? something else?

or just a unique set of circumstances...



basically my question is, is the logan/stump still up for grabs?

hahahaha.

while i'm going to have to really up my game to have any hope, in case i can pull it off, i've already got my name picked out...

if i can summit via the l/s i'm going to rename it measurable annoyance...
Avery

climber
NZ
Dec 16, 2014 - 03:03pm PT
EMPEROR FACE, Mt. Robson - Tony Dick (with Dave Cheesmond)

It seems absurd but our arrival at Mt. Robson represented a sort of failure. In the mid-summer storm of ’81 we South Africans had congregated in Alaska looking for the superb east spur of Mt. Deborah beneath 6ft. of snow. We were also looking for our unequaled supply of good and nutritious canned roast chickens and cashew nuts which were to be airdropped to us. In spite of strenuous efforts we never found the snacks until after the horrific hike out. They were waiting at the airstrip along with everyone else’s supplies. So we ate them in the van on the way down the Alaska Highway, and decided, next time we would bring some porters to carry our snacks.

Robson wasn’t really on our minds, only food, but the way it looms above that highway, you would have to be in worse shape than a Biafran not to leap out of the van and climb it. Try, at the very least.

We were so skinny we pretended not to see the Emperor Face, but went up the Wishbone Ridge instead, to try and get some strength up. Unfortunately while resting near the top of the hourglass on the descent, a serac fell off and knocked my pack down almost to the Ralph Forster hut. It was too warm to go after it as everything else was starting to fall down, so I spent the night up there in my shirtsleeves. During the night I noticed that it wasn’t too warm anymore!

Dave Cheesmond and I had one more big nosh on the way past our tent, and this time we felt we could notice the Emperor Face straight above. I had to catch a plane from Calgary in four days, so we set off in an afternoon hail storm and bivvied where the wall steepens up. It was as warm as South Africa up there so the noises kept us entertained all night.

All I remember of the next day on the wall is running for odd bits of cover. The stones were coming down everywhere, but most especially down the existing route, so we ran past it. But that evening we reached the freeze line. What a pleasure! Really an excellent bivvy, more of the Alaska snacks, and the views down to Berg Lake made it more than worthwhile.

From there on we enjoyed ourselves fully; steep ice gulleys and rock ribs, with the ice frozen up to hold the rock together nicely. Where the angle eased, the climbing got more serious, as there was little safety. We had one more bivvy on a tiny ledge we cut in the ice; happy as children. Next morning we soloed part of the way up to the gargoyles, but then roped in and out of these huge frozen waves, to reach the summit for lunch. Good meals were still one of our main concerns!

Then it was a stroll down to the hut were we spent the night, before an early morning rush to get to the airport in time. Even though I only spent that one week at Robson, its as large as life in my mind; right up there with my best memories of Dave.

Tony Dick


Special thanks to Tony Dick

Avery

climber
NZ
Dec 16, 2014 - 11:41pm PT
One thing at a time, Bruce
aguacaliente

climber
Dec 17, 2014 - 01:19am PT
Wow, brilliant, thanks Avery.

Never seen the mountain but wish to someday.
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